The book’s full title, Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks), is pretty self explanatory.
This is a book about promoting your business using social media tools. The author, Dave Kerpen, runs a social media agency in America and the book is full of examples from his clients. Likable focuses on how to target customers online, get them to follow or like you and then buy your products or services.
One of the principles Likable is based on is that each member of Facebook has on average 130 Facebook friends. If you can get 1 person to ‘like’ your company on Facebook they are, in effect, personally recommending you to 130 of their friends. Get 100 people to like you and you could potentially have personal recommendations from customers reaching 13000 people. It is basically about using good old fashioned word of mouth recommendations but driving them through Facebook, Twitter and other sites.
If you can get your company to be a, positive, part of the conversations people are having online then you can earn these recommendations. Kerpen’s book covers the main social media sites (although he focuses heavily on Facebook) and discusses how each one can be used. Most of his focus, though, is on how to craft what you are going to say rather than where you say it. Kerpen discusses how to engage with people on social media on their terms, not trying to sell to them, but to have an interesting conversation. He gives examples of how companies have successfully done this already and suggestions of how companies could do it in the future. Throughout the book Kerpen emphasizes the need for companies to be authentic, transparent and honest in everything they do online.
Because of the fast moving nature of social media the book, which was published in 2011, is already starting to date a little. Pinterest, for instance, is only mentioned in passing but is now a big force in social media. Likewise a couple of Kerpen’s suggestions for tools to use to measure and attract visitors are now slightly out of date because the social media networks have changed how they work. There have also been complaints about the response to customer’s problems through social media (or lack of it) of one of the companies Kerpen showcases. However this doesn’t really have an impact on the advice in the book, you may just need to treat it with a pinch of salt.
Rapidly dating, and perhaps not entirely unbiased about the success of some of the strategies discussed. Having said that Likeable offers a comprehensive introduction to the world of social media and how to use it for businesses.